The Atrium Art Gallery at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College will begin its fall season with a solo exhibition by James Strickland of Belfast. “Waypoints: Happenstance and Longed-for Arrivings” highlights recent work by artist, theologian, heliocentric and kinetic sculptor Strickland, whose studies of architecture, Japanese temples, martial arts, ocean navigating, mountaineering and technology illuminate his work.

An opening reception was held Sept. 26, coinciding with the Google Geo Teachers Institute held at USM LAC, presented by Google and hosted by the Maine International Center for Digital Learning. The showl runs through Nov. 30.

Strickland’s work often begins with a conceptual model using Google’s SketchUp program, a widely recognized learning tool for visualizing and communicating information. Originally from Oklahoma, Strickland has degrees from Arizona State University and California Divinity School of the Pacific. His work has been included in more than 100 exhibitions around the country and abroad. While studying for the ministry, Strickland spent summers as a skipper delivering boats to several Pacific Islands and Hong Kong.

In addition to a doctorate in theology, he studied architecture and apprenticed with Paolo Soleri and Charles Eames, later studying Japanese temple architecture with Hiroshi Hasanawa. With side roads into kendo martial arts, mountaineering and ballooning, his artistic journey brought him — via sailboat in 1999 with his partner artist/designer Patricia Shea — to Belfast. He creates large and small scale sculpture in an 1888 studio barn for municipal, corporate and private commissions.

The exhibition’s title, “Waypoints,” refers to a two-part permanent sculpture of the same title installed at the college in 2008. In nautical terms, a waypoint is a set of coordinates that marks a physical point. In metaphorical terms, a waypoint marks a culmination of thought and process. For the artist, it represents a milestone along a creative path. Strickland’s latest work embraces technology in not only the process, but also in the final work.

“Sculptures that can enrich our visual world and at the same time heat our buildings, light our parks and gardens and teach our children about sustainable energy resources have become more than just a dream,” Strickland said of his work.

Carl Little’s essay about the show can be seen online at, along with installation views of the exhibit. The Atrium Art Gallery is located at 51 Westminster St.. Gallery hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free; for more information, call 753-6500 or visit the website.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to